What I Ate Wednesday, Astoria & New York

Tahini cinnamon smoothie

Breakfast: Absolutely delicious, organic, creamy cinnamon tahini smoothie I adapted from this recipe by Nutrition Stripped. Here’s my version (serves 2 – roughly 250 calories per serving):

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts 
  • 1/2 packet of stevia (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ice cubes

apples with cinnamon

Mid-morning snack: 1 organic apple with cinnamon (not pictured: matcha green tea with stevia and lemon juice).

Little Collins NYC latte

Lunch: I met my friend Geneve for lunch at my favorite café near work, Little Collins. I ordered a small unsweetened latte, which came with a very tiny, nutty cookie.

Little Collins turkey sandwich

I also had a turkey confit sandwich with fried onion and mustard seeds, and a very small arugula / dried cranberry salad on the side. It was absolutely as delicious as it looks!

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What I Ate Wednesday: Gluten, Dairy, Corn and Sugar Free

Due to some medical issues, I decided to do a one-week cleanse and test, to see if some foods might be causing me issues (one week later, I’m glad to say that I don’t think they are). The diet meant I couldn’t eat gluten, dairy, corn, salt or sugar. I’ll be honest and say I avoided salt, but I can’t say I went “salt-free” since there were a few things I ate which already had a little bit of salt added. But I didn’t add any salt to anything, and wherever possible I avoided items that contained it.

Here’s what day 1 without all those items looked like:

WIAW Smoothie

Breakfast: luckily my breakfast smoothies don’t contain any of the off-limits items, so I made it per usual, just leaving out the stevia/sugar. The bee pollen, although mild with a waxy texture, gives it just enough sweetness along with the milk and banana (serves one):

  • .5 cup almond / coconut milk blend
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp. PB2
  • 1 tsp. bee pollen
  • 3 ice cubes (this is unnecessary if you use a frozen banana)

Avocado with balsamic vinegar

Snack #1: Lunch came in the form of three small rounds of snacking: the first was half of an organic avocado with balsamic vinegar. I normally would’ve added garlic salt, but I restrained myself.

Sweet potato and black rice with hummus

Snack #2: black rice with half of a baked sweet potato and a dollop of hummus. You can’t tell from the picture, but this was a really small portion of food. The rice was only 1/8 of a cup before cooked and the sweet potato wasn’t too big either. It was delicious though!

Wasabi soy sauce almonds

Snack #3: 28 wasabi and soy sauce almonds. These had salt, obviously, but I already had them in my desk and didn’t want to spend more money on nuts, which are expensive. Also, I needed some protein!

Half fresh orange juice

As I mentioned, I wasn’t feeling too good last week, so I briefly stepped out of work for an afternoon walk in sunny Central Park and picked up a half bottle of fresh squeezed orange juice from Delissimo Deli.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

Peanut butter banana smoothie with bee pollen

In the Austin Texas Whole Foods, I discovered PB2, a powdered peanut butter that has 85% less fat than regular peanut butter. I am a huge nut-butter-lover, in all it’s fatty oily glory, but this is a good alternative for smoothies and oatmeal, since it keeps the calorie count down and is frankly just easier to add into the blender than regular, sticky peanut butter. Monday morning’s smoothie consisted of:

Estimated calories: 200. A few quick nutritional notes:

Bee pollen (I picked mine up this weekend at the Spa City Farmer’s Market) is a “complete food,” since it contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. As the guy at the market told us, if you could collect enough of it, you could survive solely on bee pollen. It’s also low on calories- 1 tsp. has only 15

Coconut palm sugar is super low on the glycemic index, is high in nutrients and has 16 vital amino acids.

Dr. Mercola Matcha Green tea

Once I arrived at work, I drank two cups of iced green tea that I’d made at home with organic match green tea powder, coconut palm sugar with stevia and lemon juice. It was a very groggy Monday morning for me, so this was necessary!

Estimated calories: 15

Pretzel Crisps mini package

Around 11:00 a.m. I was already hungry, so I had a small pack of Pretzel Crisps, leftover from when they came to our office – I also won three months of free Pretzel Crisps that week, so much more on that later! This pack is very tiny, only 14 grams (that’s half an ounce!) and 50 calories. It’s just enough to satisfy a snack craving.

Estimated calories: 50

Chipotle Salad WIAW

Lunch today was a salad from Chipotle. I usually don’t load up my salads there, but today I was pretty hungry so I had them add chicken, sautéed fajita veggies (bell peppers and onions), tomato salsa, cheese, black beans and guacamole. I don’t like their salad dressing, so I just use Tabasco’s Chipotle hot sauce, but today they were almost out! I had to use some of the green jalapeño sauce as well.

Estimated calories: 650

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

Happy WIAW! Here is the rundown on what I ate yesterday: In the morning I took flax-seed oil, fish oil and a probiotic vitamin with a glass of water and then hit the gym for forty minutes (later at work I ate my chocolate calcium chew).

For breakfast, I had yet another variation of my favorite breakfast, the smoothie. This smoothie turned out very tart because of the passion fruit and cranberry juice, which I found to be a nice surprise after the creamy chocolate smoothies I’ve been drinking lately. This time it included (for 2 servings):

  • 2 bananas
  • 16 oz cranberry juice
  • 3 small stalks celery, including the leaves
  • 2 scoops green superfood powder 
  • 2 tsp. Acai berry powder
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • half a package of frozen passion fruit pulp

I have meant to replace drinking coffee with drinking green tea with lemon (the combination is supposedly very good for you) and this week I’ve actually been able to resist coffee so far! I use Dr. Mercola’s Organic Royal Matcha Green Tea, which is a beautiful, vibrant color and tastes great. Later I hope to incorporate it into some recipes, like smoothies, cookies, etc. Any ideas?

At work, for lunch I melted an ounce of cheddar cheese (sprinkled with garlic powder) onto the last of the baguette I brought back Sunday from Di Bruno Bros in Philadelphia. There was some leftover food in our office kitchen, so for snacks I grabbed a mini carrot cake muffin and some fruit: grapes, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple and honeydew.

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Dobrá Tea, Asheville

Hello from Hong Kong! Luckily this airport has free internet so I am able to begin to wrap up the road trip saga, even as I am en route to Thailand.

One night after dinner in Asheville, North Carolina, we experienced Dobrá Tea, based on the recommendation of a woman we met in a boutique earlier that day.

We sat on cushions at a low table, listening to two men playing a didgeridoo and a drum. They have a selection of teas out for you to eye, sniff, and admire, but we made our choice based on which teas did not have caffeine, since it was late.

We ended up with a pot of licorice tea, which was naturally very sweet.

As in many of the eateries in Asheville, all of Dobrá Tea’s food is local. Zan and I split a piece of match green tea cheesecake, which was made at a local bakery and was the absolute perfect choice for dessert. Not only did it complement our earlier dinner of Asian noodle soup, but it was the perfect combination of flaky crust and sweet, cheesy smoothness, infused with the unmistakable flavor of green tea… and it had chocolate on top.

Dobrá Tea

Open: Monday- Wednesday 10am – 10pm, Thursday- Saturday 10am – 11pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm

Location: 78 N. Lexington Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: (828) 575-2424

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